Join Cathy Vartuli from as she asks Reid Mihalko from about Emotional Bonding, Attachment and keeping clean boundaries.

Cathy: Hey everyone, this is Cathy Vartuli from I’m here with Reid Mihalko from

Reid: Yay!

Cathy: Reid, how do you- If you’re with people, if you’re intimate with people sometimes it’s easy to get hooked. To get attached. How do you unhook and stay unhooked?

Reid: There’s a couple of different ways to do it. One, the unhookedness is the idea — first just understanding that when you’re creating powerful experiences, even if they’re just casual and you just rock somebody’s world. Or you have an amazing conversation with somebody that just touches them, people will sometimes start to get energetically or emotionally attached to you. Certainly, if you create a really powerful experience physically. Your body’s you know usually — just coursing through your veins is all this chemistry, oxytocin, all these different hormones so you’re more prone to emotional bonding and imprinting at those times.

What I do to stay unhooked or to unhook after some sort of powerful experience is to really kinda create a mini-closing situation. So like in tantra you’d almost have a ritual. One, to anchor yourself, one to ground yourself, but not just for those reasons, but to kind of acknowledge the experience that you just had and then kind of close it cleanly so it’s just kind of not lingering. There are other ways we can talk about in another video about how do you delay imprinting, but let’s say that you just had really powerful experience, thanking people for the experience, reiterating in a compassionate way what your expectations are, and expectations and intentions for behavior afterwards. And just really acknowledging each other.

And then what I like to do is this little exercise where you kind of visualize energetically, whether you believe in that or not, that you guys are both pulling in your kite strings and your kites and coming back into your own body and maybe visualizing energetically roots coming out of your feet and anchoring into the ground. And then this idea — if you think of the curly parts of the Velcro, the ones with the hooks.

Cathy: I love that analogy.

Reid: Visualize uncurling those hooks so that people can’t get stuck on you, or you can’t hook onto other people, and then if you want to take it a step further, imagine these threads, the Velcro straight now out of your skin and pulling them back in. So that your surface is smooth like glass. That visualization, along with just breathing, and walking — if you’re really good at this — walking each other through the visualization, like you’re saying, “Let’s reel in our kites, breathe, [deep sigh] let out some sound, get in your body. I like to think of a little night watchman or watchperson walking around inside of me with a flashlight checking me for any like open windows or unlocked doors.

Cathy: [Laughs]

Reid: But it’s a way getting me of visualizing me inside my own body, and not inside somebody else’s body. It’s a way of visualizing me being myself and whole, and then the Velcro and the pulling in of your threads is another visualization technique to keep you from being unconsciously clingy. You’re pulling yourself back into yourself. And enjoying the chemistry bath that you’ve created with somebody else, but it’s my bath.

The other thing that can be really useful, and I do this when I talk to people at conferences when you have a conference crush and you’re just like [exasperated sound]. It’s like when you go to see a live music show, and you’re in the audience and you’re like, “The drummer is dreamy.”

Cathy: [Laughing]

Reid: You’re crushing on the band. That’s normal.

Cathy: Knowing its normal helps.

Reid: Label it and verbalize that you’re crushing. So it would be like, “That was a really lovely experience or a really powerful conversation, you really moved me, thank you so much. I might totally crush on you the rest of the day. I’m excited that I met you.” And label it and tell yourself and tell the other person, if you are crushing, if you’re not crushing don’t fake it, but be like, “Wow, I’m feeling really drawn to you and I’m kind of crushing.” Labeling it a crush you can still be dreamy but it’s not like I want to rent a U-Haul and move in next week. So I think things like that can be really useful in telling yourself, and also in role-modeling for the other person, “This is what we just had, and here’s what we can expect.” That works really really really well for me.

Cathy: That’s great. I’d like to talk about delaying attachment. Can we do another video on that?

Reid: We’ll do it next. Because we’re going to delay.

Cathy: [Laughing]


More on improving communication and relationship skills:

UnHooking II- Delaying Emotional Attachment

Tips to Change Your Mental and Emotional State